Car collides with oncoming traffic

12 May 2022 Examples of accidents & crash tests

Cutting corners

Sequence of events:
The 21-year-old driver of a tuned car and a passenger of the same age were driving along a winding, narrow country road with several bends (left, right, left) at a speed verging on the limit for going round bends. To avoid veering off the road, the driver cut across the first left-hand bend. To avoid colliding with an oncoming car, the driver had to perform an evasive maneuver to the right onto their side of the road. The driver then steered to the left again in order to follow the course of the road. Due to the high speed, the vehicle started to drift, which the young driver was unable to maintain control over. The car veered onto the opposite lane and collided there with another oncoming vehicle. The collision caused both cars to be hurled into the wooded area next to the road. Persons involved in the accident: Two car drivers, two passengers
Both drivers and the passenger in the oncoming car were seriously injured. The passenger in the car that caused the accident sustained minor injuries.
Due to the speed at which the car that caused the accident was driving, it was only possible for it to navigate the set of bends by cutting across the opposite lane on the first left-hand bend. It would not have been possible for the driver to keep to their own side of the road at his chosen speed when navigating the left-hand bend without the vehicle becoming unstable at the latest upon navigating the next right-hand bend. Due to needing to evade the first oncoming vehicle, it was not possible for the driver to prevent the car from skidding. When the vehicle was inspected, several permissible modifications to the tires/wheels and chassis were identified. The coilover suspension, however, had been reconfigured in a manner that was not permissible and that caused the tires to skid at the wheel housing liner. Operating the vehicle in this state was not permissible. Defects were also identified in the tires. However, even if the vehicle had been fully intact/conformed to regulations, the accident could not have been prevented due to the excessively high speed.
Avoidance measures, mitigation of consequences/ strategy for road safety measures:
The driver who caused the accident could have prevented it by selecting a speed that was appropriate for the condition of the road, the road layout, and width of the lane. Young drivers are sometimes attracted to driving along winding roads with different types of bends, as mastering them at excessive speeds supposedly enables them to push their own performance limits, thus giving the driver a thrill or sense of achievement. However, this example clearly shows that there was a serious misjudgment of risk based on an illusion of skill. This issue must be tackled through targeted educational measures. In this particular case, the passenger could also have drawn the driver’s attention to his risky behavior. The accident was unavoidable for the driver of the oncoming vehicle.